An Eggs-tra Ordinary Life

By Stacee Helton

January 29, 2023 

Yesterday, we attended the funeral service for a dear pastor, friend and mentor. He had lived a long and happy life, full of pastoring congregations, multiple mission trips, and encouraging others. This “good and faithful servant” was so ready to be with the Lord. His wife, while rejoicing for him and celebrating his life, is understandably grieving. It was a beautiful service, with family and friends in attendance, and condolences offered from (literally) across the nation.

If you’re like me, attending a funeral will often take you back to the services you’ve attended for other loved ones. Our minds might drift back to all the preparation and planning for an immediate family member, or the tragic reality of someone passing too soon. But yesterday was full of rejoicing, smiles and happy memories, mixed in with the tears, at the thought of no longer having him with us, here on earth. (And the joyful anticipation of seeing him again, someday). 

A few days ago, I received a phone call, asking if I would mind making a dish for his funeral dinner. Given the options, I (of course) chose to make deviled eggs. If you knew my grandmother, you already know… it’s the dish she would take to all potlucks, funeral dinners and family gatherings. (And now, it’s my go-to dish, as well). My Grandma used to tell me that it was an inexpensive dish to make (before the price of eggs recently decided to go up, that is!), and one that most people don’t think to bring. She also would say, “most people don’t want to ‘fool’ with it, because it takes a little extra time”. Her eggs were the only ones I ever liked, because she did something different with hers, than most people. While I like to call it a secret ingredient, I also readily tell people who ask. So, if you’re lucky, one day I might just share our “secret” with you.

Each time I prepare deviled eggs, I think of my Grandma. I have many memories of sitting and peeling eggs with her; learning her tricks and benefitting from her years of experience. After Grandpa passed away, she needed to move to assisted living. She dreaded it at first, but ended up loving her little “apartment” for the short time she was there. It was nice and had a kitchenette, which she loved, but… she could no longer cook her own food, unless she used the microwave.

In November of 2013, we were getting ready to travel to Kentucky to be with family for Thanksgiving. My cousin would be hosting at her house, and sent out the info, asking what everyone would be bringing. I was asked to bring the deviled eggs, since the family knew that I could make them like Grandma always had. I decided to arrive a day early, taking all the necessary ingredients with me and let Grandma help make them for Thanksgiving. Her mind was already slipping a little bit, but she could definitely remember making deviled eggs, and she was thrilled to be able to contribute to Thanksgiving dinner. It was her last Thanksgiving with us, and I’m thankful to have one last egg-making time with her, and treasure all of those “eggs-tra ordinary” moments we shared. Even normal or maybe days that seem insignificant can live on in our hearts and minds. I hope you have a wonderful day, and maybe make a few memories along the way!

Salt and Light

January 21, 2023 

I wonder just how many times over the years my family has been awakened to the sound of Della Reese singing “When you walk down the road… heavy burden, heavy load. I will rise, and I will walk with you”. Touched by an Angel has been a favorite series of mine for many years, always highlighting an issue or hardship of some kind, and resolving it all in a television hour. (With the help of angels, of course). My favorite part of each episode is the end, where an angel reveals that they are, in fact, a celestial being (aka: they glow), and then comes their “God loves you” proclamation for the ones who have either forgotten, or have never heard it. 

Early yesterday morning, I had my coffee and spent some time in the Word, before turning on the television. Our church Bible reading plan currently has us in Genesis, and I had just finished reading about Lot’s family and their escape from Sodom, just before God destroyed it due to the wickedness residing there. They were given little instruction, except to run and not look back. If you’ve ever read the story, you already know that his wife disobeyed and looked back, and was turned into a pillar of salt. 

After my reading, I turned on the television and began watching an episode of Touched by an Angel. As I was watching, my eyes began to water. (It happens every time, no matter how many times I’ve seen the same episode). This time, however, a tear actually escaped. I felt every second of its journey down my cheek, until it reached the corner of my mouth. I decided to do something I had not done in years; I tasted it.

Yep… still salty. And then my mind of course went back to the verses I had just read about the pillar of salt, and I began to think about all the ways God uses salt throughout scripture. Aside from being flavorful, it was also used as a preservative, and as a symbol of a covenant agreement or friendship, and it was also sprinkled over things to purify them. A very recognizable scripture related to salt is found in Matthew 5:13-16, where Jesus says that we are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”. He was telling His followers that if they lose their saltiness, or let their lights burn out, they are no good to anyone. It’s their job to spread the good news and to remember why they’re doing it. 

In my opinion, tears are the result of remembering. We remember the way things used to be, the way we felt, the way things were when our kids were little, or when our loved ones were still with us. We can relate to the things we hear and see, because we remember. We can cry along with a friend, even if we haven’t gone through the exact same hardship, because we remember a time when we did go through something and needed a friend, ourselves. We can cry tears of joy for someone else, because we, too, have experienced amazing joy, especially when we remember His kindness and faithfulness towards us. 

Don’t lose your flavor… be useful! Share that salty goodness with everyone and shine His light. Some might only find the path to Jesus because you remembered to bring the flashlight. 


January 14, 2023 

By Stacee Helton

      Happy New Year! It’s so hard to believe that another year has passed. And so quickly! Growing up, I can clearly remember thinking that Christmas would never get here. And then came the LONGEST week ever; that week between Christmas and New Year. Christmas would finally arrive, and then I would have to wait 7 long days for New Year’s Day. Most kids wouldn’t be too excited for the new year to get here… but then, I wasn’t like most kids.

For me, New Year’s Day was almost magical. A day where I could sleep in after being up so late the night before. (But I never would sleep in. Because I can’t. This early bird has never known about the luxury of “extra sleep” and these days, I’m lucky to stay asleep for very long). A day when I could stop and think about how I wanted the new year to be different than the one before. And not just different, but better. A day when I could choose a restaurant, choose what we watched or where we went, receive lots of phone calls, have a special song directed solely to me, and the day would end with cake! Yep… New Year’s Day is my birthday.

I was the very first baby born in Hopkins County, KY in 1974. My mother and I had our picture in the local newspaper, and retailers donated gifts. (I was famous for a day and can’t even remember it!). I can definitely remember looking so forward to my birthday, in my younger days. Another big year! A year closer to being a teenager. A year closer to driving. A year closer to graduating. A year closer to college and moving out, and marrying my guy, and getting a great job and having babies. All of the things that we look forward to in life only have a chance of becoming reality, because we are blessed by God with another day. 

Of course, as we get closer and closer to “antique status”, we start to wish the years would reach a point where they worked in reverse. Just look at all the “age-defying” creams and fat, puffy lips on actresses… all made to help us look younger. (Or just weird. You can decide). But something happens, on the day we are born that we just don’t realize, until we have the wisdom and the benefit of time to look back and see it. We start to age. It’s as natural as taking our first breath. All the creams and surgeries in the world can’t stop it. 

So ultimately, adults come to know what kids do not: birthdays are bittersweet. The idea of a big celebration soon gets traded with the thankfulness and gratitude that comes with the absolute gift of another year. (Even if that year held a few sad, scary or physically painful times). We might even surprise ourselves, when we begin to prefer a quiet birthday at home, with nothing on the calendar, surrounded by our own little family. (Especially if they now live far away). 

I pray that 2023 will be a year of peace and blessing and thankfulness for you and your family! Thank you so much for jumping in and following our blog last year! We look forward to bringing you more fun, more recipes, and more moments of reflection in this new year!